About USC Cocktails 2019

Rating the Mixability of Spirits

For Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2019, we've evaluated Gin, Bourbon, Rum, and American Whiskey categories in cocktails. Spirits in these categories that are priced less than $75.00 are automatically entered into USC Cocktails when they enter Ultimate Spirits Challenge. There is no additional entry fee for USC Cocktails. 

For the fifth year in a row, USC’s super-star Team Cocktail  will test hundreds of spirits in appropriate classic cocktails to further embellish the data for spirits producers and marketers. 

To ensure impartiality, the identical recipe is painstakingly measured, including dilution, in milliliters for each cocktail in every suitable category. Team Cocktail is comprised of world-class professional bartenders such as Leo DeGroff; Sean Kenyon; Troy Clarke; Brian Bevilaqua; Dave Bletsch; Don Lee; Dave Roochvarg; Berit Jane Soli-Holt and Anthony Mendez.

All Gins in USC 2019 will be tasted in a Negroni; Bourbon and non-Rye Whiskeys in an Old Fashioned; Rye Whiskey in a Manhattan; and Rum in a Hemingway.

Each cocktail is evaluated blind individually with a glass of its base spirit ingredient poured neat next to it for reference. Cocktails are scored on a 1-to-5 star scale, with 2 ½ to 3 stars being hailed as Delicious, 3 ½ to 4 stars as Very Delicious, and 4 ½ to 5 stars as Drop Dead Delicious

By investigating the mixability factor of spirits Ultimate Spirits Challenge has enhanced the analytical data it supplies for suppliers and their marketing teams. Spirits, after all, aren’t only consumed neat. To have expert analysis by mixology superstars on straight enjoyment AND how that spirit performs in a cocktail is highly advantageous to brands and consumers. As the only major spirits competition in North America to include mixability evaluations as part of the entry fee, USC’s findings provide marketers with valuable insights as to how their spirits perform in classic cocktails. What’s not to love?

All cocktails rated Delicious, Very Delicious and Drop Dead Delicious are listed under Cocktail Commendations on the website. Click here for 2019 USC Cocktail Commendations